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Downdraft Table For Sanding


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I built one using a squirrel cage blower, it SUCKS.. really. :D

Basically, I mounted the blower over a hole in the floor, and built a box on top of it with 1x2 wood slats on top, spaced 1 1/2" apart. The way my shop is built, the dust blows down under the building, and outside. The blower could also be mounted to the wall and blow out the side. I live out in the boondocks, so the dust isn't a problem, but if you have neighbors, it wouldn't be too hard to build something to contain it. Squirrel cages work best when pulling from an open area, rather than ductwork, or a baffle with small holes. Also, remember to feed the squirrels, or they will stop turning the fan. :D

Things I need to add are: a screen below the top, to keep fallen objects out of the blower; and a door at the bottom, also with a screen, for sweeping floor dust into.

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Squirel cages and window fans are nice and quiet. They move a lot of air until the filter starts to clog up, then the air flow gets choked off really quick.

If space is tight, the engineering and testing has already been done on this one leaving time to build guitars instead.


If you have room for a 1 hp dust collector, this type is pretty quiet.


We plug one of these into an mdf box with a top made out of dowels wrapped in pipe insulation. It works well and is pretty quiet.

We upgraded the bag to a 1 micron unit as the stock units let a lot of the fine stuff through.

Edited by ddgman2001
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this would be ideal if you already have a 1hp or more 4" dust collector.


But to answer your question, the easiest thing would be to just build a plywood copy of one of these



and just omit some of the space at the bottom, and leave a big ol 4" to hook up your dust collector.

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As to the design of the table.. Pegboard, and you can buy a dust collection interface kit that will fit right underneath it.. Kind of looks like a hopper with the tube at the bottom.

As to the collection device.. I saw a tut online once where someone made a vacuum out of a dryer blower. Was quiet. I would think you could build a pretty quiet dust collection system if you had the right blower and a quiet motor. The filtration is the key. Grizzly has dust collection systems starting at around 120-130 bucks, so it may be worth it just to buy one.. especially if you've saved building your own downdraft table.

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I just built a downdraft table with a 2'x4' peg boardboard top- a peice of carpet gripper (that allows airflow of course) goes on top of that to prevent scratching and provide some gripping friction. It is attached to a Delta 1hp dust collector-pretty loud. You need to reinforce the pegboard with a wooden grid underneath for stability. To quiet things down... frame the dust collecter unit (not the table) into a small room of its own, insulate the "room" very well, but leave an area for air to circulate back into the main room or better yet to the outside- yes the dust collector has to send its air somwhere. If sending the air back into your shop then point the (filtered) outlet up towards the ceiling, directing the "leaking" noise away from your ears. While it will still be noisy it does cut down on the racket significantly. Of course this means you will need a remote control adaptor to turn it on and off conveniently, but having one will lead to use the dust collector all of the time, not just for "big jobs", which benefits your health.

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